Microsoft’s New Tablet is No iPad Killer

by Guest Author on June 25, 2012

in Guest Posts, iPad, Tablets

The Microsoft Surface tablet is one good lookin’ product. The frame is made of rugged magnesium, which Microsoft is calling VaporMag. The tablet is also thin and lightweight, giving it maximum portability. In terms of design, the surface tablet has two standout features: the attachable keyboard and the integrated kickstand.

When combined, these two features allow users to operate their tablet like a laptop. The Surface tablet can go from hand to surface in a matter of seconds, giving users a wider range of uses in one device. In a sense, it combines some of the most attractive design features from the iPad and Macbook Air in one fell swoop. That’s not even to mention that you can choose different colors for your keyboard, on which keys are operated by touch (no pressure needed). The keyboard also doubles as a dust cover and can be folded over to cover the screen when not in use.

If Apple had launched this product, the entire tech market would be swooning, but Microsoft is seriously lagging in terms of mass market operating software and, to be frank, it just lacks sex appeal. The release of the product will parallel the Windows 8 launch later this year (a beta is already available), but the aesthetic design of Windows software is dusty, dusty, dusty. The touch screen, though innovative, offers a mish-mash of colored squares and rectangles that will make any lover of iOS cringe.

While the Apple has curved edges, Microsoft is hanging onto its squares; and though there is something to be said about branding, Microsoft is going to be forced to think outside the box in its creative marketing strategies if they are truly hoping to compete with the iPad.

The Surface tablet reportedly won’t be offering a mobile phone network connection, which is a huge disadvantage when competing with other tablets on the market. (What good is portability if you can’t use your device everywhere?) College students who use iPads as studying tools would have been a perfect target audience for Microsoft, as the tablet offers Office products, but without a mobile phone network, Apple will maintain its stronghold on the younger generation.

Though there has been mention that a mobile network connection could be implemented in the future, I think Microsoft is being naïve if they think they will get another shot at this. This decision could prove to be the Achilles heel of the entire project, and the fact that they decided to omit such a key feature makes me wonder if they even understand the market they’re trying to enter.

Another possible solution is that Microsoft isn’t really trying to compete with the iPad. Though the tablet is a response to the iPad trend, the key omission of mobile network connectivity reeks of planned obsolescence. To leave such a gaping hole for other developers to advance upon is a baited hook that could potentially result in more tablets that use Windows 8, which is a golden opportunity for Microsoft. More Window 8 users will mean more money for the company, and because they won’t be developing the products, they won’t be carrying the risk.

Microsoft holds two niches in the tech market that Apple has yet to corner: the corporate and home entertainment sectors.  There is no question that Apple is the king of consumer electronics, but Microsoft’s software and databases are firmly rooted in the corporate world. The Microsoft Surface tablet Pro version will feature the full Windows 8 capabilities. This means the tablet will be naturally integrated into the existing corporate settings, and will allow traveling or remote workers to dock and access documents and spreadsheets. This compatibility is a huge asset.

The Xbox is more than a gaming system. Today, it’s a major streaming platform for multi-media. The Microsoft Surface tablet will also be compatible with Xbox gaming systems, which is where that USB port comes in handy (for the controller). This makes the Microsoft Surface tablet a portable tablet, computer and gaming system – all in one.

We should never forget that Microsoft is largely a software company, and even with the hype surrounding its new baby, some have expressed doubt that Microsoft is committed to long-term production of tablets.  The Microsoft Surface tablet is not competitor for the iPad, but the tablet is definitely a selling point for the things Microsoft already does best, and other developers will be forced to respond to this new tech standard in business, gaming and portability.

If all goes as planned and other companies jump on board, Microsoft Windows 8 will make mad cash, which I’m sure is the real plan all along.

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Guest article written by: Mariana Ashley is a blogger and freelance writer, whose posts offer a college guide and news for prospective students and parents. She welcomes comments via email at mariana.ashley031@gmail.com.

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Guest article written by: Mariana Ashley is a blogger and freelance writer, whose posts offer a college guide and news for prospective students and parents. She welcomes comments via email at mariana.ashley031@gmail.com.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Julian King June 26, 2012 at 08:45

I really like the new tablet and I’m pretty sure it will be a best seller. From my point of view, it has several unique features as compared to iPad, which make it desirable for students.
Julian King recently posted… Gazebo Design Ideas updated Fri Jun 15 2012 7:24 am EDT

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Kate Brown Wilson June 26, 2012 at 08:49

Wow! this is really a great gadget, how i wish I can have this for me to know its enhanced feature.

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Kathi June 26, 2012 at 09:16

Great article, and I think that there isn’t a competition, iPad is just the best. I have seen the keynote on which surface has been announced and presented, and it isn’t the best for marketing a products if it freezes at the presentation as well…

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Aasma June 27, 2012 at 13:03

Great review, But I still like to use “Microsoft Tablet Surface” because of its beautiful look and laptop like user experience.
Aasma recently posted… Affordable ecommerce website design services India, Best web developers, development company | Rancor Infotech

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Rananjay June 29, 2012 at 06:45

This is just a start and Microsoft hasn’t revealed everything yet, and once windows 8 comes, only then we can see where they are actually headed.
Rananjay recently posted… Useful Apps For Better Tomorrow!

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Patrick June 29, 2012 at 13:14

I think it is not a real iPad killer but it is somehow a game changer for the tablets simply because of its amazing smart cover with keyboard. After that, who’s gonna need a laptop now? It’s great!
Patrick recently posted… Lenovo IdeaPad U310 and Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Ultrabooks Launched in the Philippines Price, Specifications

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Peter Lee July 4, 2012 at 11:01

I don’t care if any of the new tablets could compete with the iPad or not. As long as there’re competitions out there, then that’s good news to us as consumers 🙂
Peter Lee recently posted… Open Garden: An App that opens Internet Connections

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Jason Allens July 10, 2012 at 23:24

I think the surface tablet looks great! Definitely will consider buying one. The only reason I haven’t gotten a tablet yet is because I am afraid it won’t be as efficient as using a laptop because of lack of integration of windows applications (like microsoft office). Hopefully this changes that and I’ll be able to carry around a lighter backpack.

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EdwinMiller July 13, 2012 at 13:12

There is no doubt in the matter that Microsoft has left any stone untouched in order to make ‘Surface’ better and thus shake the tablet world. Microsoft has incorporated all the latest features in its Surface tablet like fasted processor, Windows 8 OS and metro style apps, Full-HD display, unique touchpad etc…The price of Surface tablet has not been announced yet but i think it is main thing to consider and I don’t think Microsoft will agree on keeping price below $200 with above mentioned smart features but Google also announced its Nexus 7 which is expected to cost around $200. I think Microsoft Surface will be good alternative of Apple iPad and can be beaten up iPad if Microsoft ship it at a price comparable with the iPad.

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